It is onto next season for the New Orleans Saints. After finishing the season with a winning record, but missing the playoffs, the Saints will go into the off-season with questions at several positions. Player evaluation has likely already begun for an organization not accustomed to missing the playoffs. The Saints will be able to clear plenty of salary cap, according to the experts, so expect some of these positions to be addressed in free agency and others in the 2022 NFL Draft. These are the top five positions of need for the New Orleans Saints to address this off-season.
Top Five New Orleans Saints Needs for 2022
Biggest Offensive Needs
The most obvious need for the Saints is at quarterback. Jameis Winston was only under a one-year contract going into this season. After his injury, it is unknown if Winston or the Saints will want to try again next season. Taysom Hill had his shot at starting as well. Between not being able to stay healthy, and not being effective, it is likely that Hill is not the long-term solution for the Saints either. Sean Payton will have a plan, though. Payton’s offense sputtered through the year. It is hard to imagine he will let it happen again.
Pass catcher might be the most glaring need for the Saints, at least outside of quarterback. Michael Thomas should be back next season, but this offense needs much more than just Thomas. Tight end was a huge disappointment this season. Adam Trautman and Juwan Johnson were not able to contribute to the offense. Likewise, the receiving unit might have been one of the league’s worst. Wide receiver and tight end are two of the biggest need for this unit going into the off-season. With the 18th pick in the upcoming draft, the Saints likely need to address the receiver position. With the value the league has recently placed on drafting receivers, even pick 18 might not be enough to get a true difference-maker.
Defensive Position Needs for the Saints
The Saints ended the year with one of the NFL’s best defenses. There are still issues with this side of the ball, depth being the biggest. When the Saints are not healthy, the difference between the starters and backups is glaring. Depth defensive linemen players Shy Tuttle and Jalen Dalton are set to hit free agency. Carl Granderson has flashed at times and will also be a free agent. This leaves the defensive line as a major need for the Saints. Both defensive end and defensive tackle will have to be addressed.
Safety could be an issue this off-season as well. Marcus Williams has to be a priority signing for the Saints, but if he is not, then both he and P.J. Williams will be free agents this year as well. P.J. Williams recently revitalized his career by playing more at the safety position. Both of these players have been standouts for the Saints the past few years. Expect the front office to try and retain their services, but if not, safety will be a huge hole to fill this off-season.
New Orleans Saints are Usual Buyers
Expect the Saints to go into free agency as buyers. This is not uncommon. The Saints positioned their salary cap to clear after this season. With that the case, the Saints could be in the market for several depth players. It is unlikely that the Saints could afford a single large contract this year with the many needs. The Saints will likely look for players who can fill a direct need and just do their job. Expect Mickey Loomis, Sean Payton, and the Saints to target needed positions through the draft or free agency.
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